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Canada offers more help for internationally trained engineers

The federal government has launched the first phase of a new program to help ease internationally trained professio...


The federal government has launched the first phase of a new program to help ease internationally trained professionals and others into the workforce in Canada.
Much media attention has been focused on professionals, especially engineers and physicians, who come to Canada under the expectation they can easily obtain work, but then find great difficult working in their field once they arrive.
Governments at every level, as well as the professional licensing organizations, have been introducing new programs to help immigrants to have their qualifications recognized and to improve their communication and other skills in order to help them find suitable work.
The Foreign Credentials Referral Office will have $32.2 million in its first five years to help individuals find information on the Canadian labour market, what they need to have their credentials assessed and where they need to apply. The service will provide detailed information on the specific labour market where they plan to live. It is the first of its kind in Canada to be offered on a national scale.
Run by Citizenship and Immigration Canada, the service will be available in Canada and overseas, with a website and a dedicated phone line, 1-888-854-1805. In-person help will also be available at centres in Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, Montreal, Halifax and Winnipeg by the fall of 2007.
Professional Engineers Ontario held a town hall meeting on May 22 in Mississauga entitled “Foreign-trained Professionals, an Untapped Resource.”
Hon. Jean Augustine, the recently appointed Fairness Commissioner of Ontario, was the keynote speaker, and several politicians spoke as well as Doug Hink, vice president of SNC Lavalin and Kim Allen, chief executive officer and registrar of PEO.
PEO also announced a program in May to encourage newcomers to Canada and engineering graduates to apply for licensing by waiving the $230 application fee.